On Sunday Aug. 8th I completed my first true Olympic distance triathlon. I registered for another earlier in the season but it was changed to an Olympic duathlon. I was mostly concerned with the swimming leg, then with the distance of the race overall – especially since I am planning to do the HalfRev in September.
I will get to my brief race report in a moment.
My horoscope two days later read:
“You are at an impasse. An opinion that you unconsciously cling to is the thing holding you back. Lose your own point of view and really listen to another person. That is when the breakthrough comes.”
Later that morning, I received an email from a friend and fellow triathlete. It read:
I was looking at the results for the Cleveland Tri and saw your name. Is everything okay? I know it was hot in Mentor so I can just imagine what conditions were like downtown.
Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.
Thanks for asking. I actually did OK for me on the swim. Keep in mind I'm slow at everything. It was 1500m and my goal on Sunday was to gauge how I would be at the REV3 doing 1.2mi. I've always been scared of not making the cutoff time on the swim. Barring very bad weather, I should make it in 1:10.
The bike was awful. Yeah it was hot. Yeah it was windy. Both seem to suck everything out of me. But that was not my biggest problem on Sunday. Every time I went from the big chain ring to the small chain ring, my chain fell off. Naturally, it was just before a big hill so I had no momentum going up any hills. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong. Lou told me I was changing gears too late and the torque was making the chain fall off. He told me to make sure I switch chain rings on flat ground and no slope. Anyway I could never get into a grove on the bike. I know I'm capable of faster than 12.4 mph. I was very disappointed in the bike.
By the time I got to the run I was tired and it was hot. Again I'm pretty slow anyways, so on my best day I would only have been a little faster.
I'm glad I finished but part of my problem too was I didn't want to be at this tri. I wanted to be at the Greater Cleveland Tri. I signed up for this one last January not knowing they would be on the same day. If I would have known that I'd have done the other. They ran out of shirts so I didn't get one and they ran out of finishers medals too. It was weird. I doubt I'll ever do this one again. It was also way more expensive - even signing up last January!!!
My friend responded:
You had one heck of a day. Without seeing what is going on I think Lou is right about the chain dropping. There could also be some adjusting that could happen with the front derailleur.
I understand the confusion with the races. I have heard many comments about the downtown race in prior years that I am not a big supporter of it. The race in Mentor is nicer, the race director is local and it's closer to your home.
Your tenacity of finishing the race is very admirable.
One of my teammates has pulled out of the HalfRev due to injury. She is able to transfer her entry to the race in 2011. Just something to think about as you evaluate your progress from Sundays' race and your workout results.
Let ***** and I know if there is anything you want to talk about. We are here to help you out and support you.
When I read that, I went into a tailspin of fear, doubt, and every negative thought you could possible imagine. What did he mean by what he said????
So I asked:
Thanks. I know your both are here to help.
I really don't want to quit. I want to finish what I started. I have always been slow and near or at the bottom of the list, so I'm not expecting miracles with this one. My goal is to finish. I'm not overly concerned with my time.
Should I be more concerned? Now I'm wondering????
His response was:
Your attitude has been great through all of this. I am only making sure you know your options. You are the only one who can make the final decision. DO NOT let me plant any doubts in your mind. That is not what I am trying to do.
You are confident in your swim to be able to finish the 1.2 miles in the time you need to.
You have ridden the bike course and know what to expect.
The run course is flat so you should feel good about that. I know I am because I have done NO hill training this summer.
If you came out of the race Sunday knowing you are ready to toe the start line and cross the finish line in September....that's a good place to be. The only thing that has changed from then to now is my e-mail making sure you are okay. I'm on the outside looking in.
You are the only one who can make this decision....and I think you already knew your decision on Sunday.
I just want to say - THANK YOU MY FRIEND. I am not an athletically gifted person. I am just someone who enjoys triathlon. I do my best. Unfortunately, my best is much, much slower than most if not all of those around me. I guarantee I will be worried about the cutoff times for all three disciplines.
At this moment, as September 12th is looming, I can assure you I am scared. Scared to start. Scared to fail. Scared to DNF. Scared to look like an idiot. However, I am not scared to be DFL – because if I’m DFL, that will mean that I finished. That is and will be (at least for this year) my one and only goal. I hope I make it.